Pear Conditioning Pt 2

Pear Conditioning Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. It’s been going on for a long time, but thoughts of expanding conditioning pears with Ethylene is gaining momentum.

Pear Bureau Northwest president Kevin Moffitt says kick-starting the ripening process is good for pears, but not for every fruit in a retail environment …

MOFFITT … “For apples, it softens them up so it’s not so good for apples, but for pears and avocados it’s a good thing. So, yes, that is an Ethylene emitter that you’re putting into that paper bag, an enclosed environment, and it’s warming the fruit up.”

But, Moffitt says warehouse conditions need to be just right…

MOFFITT … “When we do this Ethylene treatment at the shipper or retail level, the fruit needs to be warmed up to an average of about 65 degrees before it really will accept that Ethylene. So, by putting it on your kitchen counter in a bag, you’re also getting a nice warm environment that will help that fruit trigger itself and the banana helps build up that amount of Ethylene that triggers it.”

Moffitt says this is really no different than putting fruit in a bag with a banana that emits Ethylene, but on a larger scale …

MOFFITT … “So, there’s a certain amount of Ethylene that we put into a room, 100 parts per million of Ethylene, that is emitted into a room that’s air-tight, in order to build up enough Ethylene within that room to trigger the fruit and get it thinking, okay I need to start ripening now. It kind of wakes them up and gets them moving and thinking about ripening or softening.”

Moffitt says in past surveys, conditioned pears sold nearly 20% better than unconditioned pears.

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